Jazz Scales – 6 Scales That You Need To Know

jazz scales

Adding Chromatic Notes To Scales

Even though these scales sound good on their own. They don’t have that classic jazz sound just yet.

There’s a simple trick we can do to make these scales sound a lot more like jazz scales.

To do this we’re going to:

  • Add a chromatic note in between any two fret gap within the scale.

A chromatic note is simply a note from outside of the scale. For every time there’s a two fret gap, we’re going to add a chromatic note in between that two fret gap.

Let’s apply this to each scale.

The Major Scale

jazz scales
Major Scale:

Chromatic Major Scale: 

Jazz Scales – The Lydian Scale

jazz scales
C Lydian Scale:

Chromatic C Lydian Scale:

Jazz Scales – The Mixolydian Scale

chromatic-mixolydian-scale

Mixolydian Scale:

Chromatic Mixolydian Scale:

Jazz Scales – The Dorian Scale

jazz scales
Dorian Scale:

Dorian Chromatic:

Jazz Scales – The Aeolian Scale

natural-minor-chromatic
Aeolian Scale:

Aeolian Chromatic:

Jazz Scales – The Harmonic Minor Scale

chromatic-harmonic-minor

Harmonic Minor:

Harmonic Minor Chromatic:

If you’re trying to improvise with these scales, you don’t have to include EVERY chromatic note. Maybe just explore one or two chromatic points between each two fret gap.

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Jazz Licks

The best way to get amazing at jazz quickly is to learn some jazz licks. Learning jazz licks is the easiest way to enhance your phrasing and musicality.

You will NEVER become an advanced jazz guitarist, if you just learn scales.

Think of it like this, learning scales is like the equivalent of learning the words to a language. Yes they’re important, but they don’t show you how to construct a sentence.

If you wanted to pick up a new language, you would initially go for simple phrases. This is the exact same thing when it comes to jazz. To get into the genre, you must have a few starter licks.

In this next section we’re going to show you 6 awesome jazz licks that will take your playing to the next level.

jazz scales

1. The Major Lick

This one can is a finger twister! Watch out for last few notes of the lick as it moves out of regular scale position.

major-scale-lick

You can use this lick over a:

  • C major chord.
  • A chord progression in the key of C major.
  • An A minor chord.
  • Anything in the key of A minor.

2. The Lydian Lick

This lick if perfect for adding tension to your lines. Practice this one slowly and make sure it sounds ultra smooth.

lydian-lick

You can use this lick over:

  • C major chord.
  • A chord progression in the key of C major.

3. The Mixolydian Lick

This lick is a fantastic jazz blues lick. Use this rapid lick over a C blues.

mixolydian-lick

For more blues lessons, go here: Blues Guitar Lessons For Beginners : 4 Ways To Sound Awesome Quickly

4. The Dorian Lick

Use this minor lick to add a bit of spice to your solos. Practice this slowly as this can be tricky. You could use this over a chord progression in the key of C minor.

dorian-lick

5. The Aeolian Lick

This lick lick is perfect for creating tension and darkness in your solos.

aeolian-lick-1

It would great over a:

  • C minor chord.
  • Anything in the key of C minor.

6. The Harmonic Minor Lick

This lick is fast, so make sure that you practice it slowly.

harmonic-minor-lick

This lick would work over anything in the key of C minor.

Want to learn more about jazz guitar? Go here: Jazz Guitar: A 5-Step Programme For Rapid Jazz Skill

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